Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.
On Shun Pak
Pipe inspections are performed using large robots that utilize wheels or tracks for locomotion. Due to their large size, weight and hard exterior, these robots can occasionally cause damage to the pipe interiors during inspection. In addition, these pipe inspection robots struggle with the ability to move in a congested environment and adapt to obstacles or geometry changes within the pipe. This project investigates the capabilities of auxetic and conventional metamaterials to achieve locomotion in an enclosed channel through the different metamaterials reactions to an axial force. The resulting robot is capable of both horizontal and vertical locomotion. Computer simulation is used to confirm the metamaterials effective Poissons ratio through testing deformation under applied loads at small displacements. Physical testing of the soft-bodied robot is employed to demonstrate the force needed for movement and validate the auxetic and conventional metamaterial behavior. The extensive work serves as a proof of concept of auxetic metamaterials as a viable solution for less invasive movement through enclosed channels. Further work and alterations to the soft-bodied robot body may allow for future applications in realms such as medical device development.
Barr, John; Boyle, Andrew; Goodfellow, Matthew; Rogers, Nick; and Stephens, Caroline, "Soft Robot Locomotion via Mechanical Metamaterials: Application in Pipe Inspection" (2021). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 111.